News Roundup Monday 15th April 2019

NEWS ROUNDUP

TAX NEWS

Hustle star’s loses test case in blow for BBC stars

Hustle star Robert Glenister has lost his appeal against a 2017 tribunal ruling that the actor should have been paid by the BBC as a full-time employee rather than as a freelance service provider. For 10 years from 2004, Glenister’s BBC earnings were paid to his Big Bad Wolff company, meaning he paid tax at 20% instead of 45%. Glenister, who played con man Ash Morgan in the hit show, has been told he must hand over £147,547 in backdated National Insurance contributions. The court heard that there were “a number of other appeals, particularly concerning members of the acting profession, awaiting the outcome of this case”.

The Sun, Page: 16 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 12 Yorkshire Post, Page: 8

The Range chief hands business to his wife saving millions in tax

The boss of retail chain The Range has shifted ownership of his main business to his Jersey-based wife, allowing them to save as much as £15m in tax last year when the company paid a £39.5m dividend. Chris Dawson transferred his 60% share to Mrs Dawson in March 2017 with the dividend paid out during the year until January 28, 2018. Those who are non-UK resident for tax purposes do not have to pay 38.1% UK dividend tax. A spokesman said: “Mr and Mrs Dawson and their companies comply with HMRC legislation. Mrs Dawson’s move to Jersey has no impact on the group’s tax status.”

The Times, Page: 3

Drop in drinking and smoking hits HMRC ‘sin tax’ receipts

HMRC has collected less from “sin taxes” over the past decade, according to UHY Hacker Young, as consumers cut down on alcohol, cigarettes and gambling activities in favour of healthier lifestyles.

Financial Times, Page: 18

Former Top Gear mechanic jailed for helping tax fraudsters flee to Spain

Stephen Howard, a former Top Gear mechanic who helped tax cheats Jamie Colwell and his father Brian flee to Spain before they could be sentenced for a £1m VAT scam, has been jailed. The pair have since been extradited back to the UK and are currently serving prison sentences totalling almost eight years.

Press Release

Labour’s garden tax plans would double annual bills

The Sunday Express reports on Labour plans for a land value tax which could mean local property taxes doubling for some homeowners. Dubbed the “garden tax” the levy would take into account the value of farmlands, driveways and back gardens and charging 3% of its value. According to the TaxPayers’ Alliance estimates residents in Southport would see bills rise from £1,570 to £3,267.

Sunday Express, Page: 12

Raab’s radical new Help to Buy scheme

Dominic Raab outlines how he plans to revive the dream of home ownership in a piece for the Sunday Telegraph. The former Brexit Secretary and Tory leadership candidate says private renters should be helped onto the property ladder by offering landlords a CGT exemption if they sell properties to existing tenants.

The Sunday Telegraph, Page: 9 The Sunday Telegraph

UK focused on ‘low-hanging fruit’ in minimum wage fight

HMRC is overlooking the most serious violations of Britain’s minimum wage laws to concentrate on the easiest cases, according to the UK’s director of labour market enforcement, David Metcalf.

Financial Times, Page: 3

HMRC accused of carelessness over disputed tax demands

HMRC has withdrawn 10% of tax demands associated with avoidance schemes leading Adam Craggs, partner at RPC, to accuse HMRC of not taking “sufficient care and attention” when issuing the orders.

Financial Times, Page: 3

PENSIONS NEWS

Pension warning for those approaching 75th birthday

The Sunday Times’ Ali Hussain warns savers approaching their 75th birthday to check their pension policies or risk being caught out by a range of tax charges. Savers will need to confirm retirement funds total less than the lifetime allowance (£1.03m) or they face an emergency tax charge of 25% – or 55% in some cases. Additionally, some pension contracts were written with an end date set for when the customer reached 75, which means savers have to move their money to another provider if they do not want to be forced into their pension firm’s “default” annuity.

The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 14

One in 10 doctors could quit NHS over pension taxes

The Sunday Telegraph reports that the NHS is facing a 10% fall in doctor numbers due to high tax charges for breaching annual and lifetime pension saving allowances. Older doctors are threatening an early retirement exodus over pension tax charges that they say make them effectively work for free.

The Sunday Telegraph, Business, Page: 3

NHS hands doctors cash top-ups to halt wave of early retirements

Several NHS trusts are offering to give the employer’s pension contribution to doctors in cash rather than putting it into their retirement savings in an attempt to stave off early retirements to avoid tax bills for breaching savings limits. Separately, Dame Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, has said a pensions tax on high earners could deter female doctors from applying for senior roles and awards and harm efforts to reduce the gender pay gap in medicine.

Financial Times, Page: 1 The Times, Page: 20

SMEs NEWS

Late payments hitting SME workers

More than 2.2m SME workers have not been paid on time due to cash-flow problems at their employer, according to research carried out by Intuit QuickBooks. The average SME is owed £31,055 due to late payments from clients and customers, the firm said, with 57% left with debts they could not afford to pay as a result.

Sunday Express, Page: 43

Scottish SMEs expecting greater difficulties from Brexit

The latest Citibase Business Confidence Index has found that 46% of SMEs in Scotland believe revenues will rise or stay the same once the UK has left the EU, this compares to 65% across the UK overall. The report also revealed that the proportion of SMEs in Scotland experiencing difficulty when it comes to attracting investment or raising funding rose from 41% in the previous quarter to 65% in the past three months.

The Scotsman

Tax-efficient schemes enjoy second-highest year on record

At £731m, venture capital trusts – which invest in the UK’s higher-risk small businesses – amassed more assets in the 2018-19 tax year than in any other year since 2005-06.

Financial Times

PROPERTY NEWS

Boom in holiday rentals spurred by buy-to-let crackdown

A tax crackdown on buy-to-let landlords and a Brexit-related boom in staycations has encouraged banks to offer mortgages for holiday lets in the UK. Holiday rentals are expected to generate more than £2.2bn this year, with mortgage experts reporting a rise in the number of owners boosting their incomes. Second Estates, the property investment firm, says rents on holiday lets have gone up by 4% since 2016, bringing the average rental income in the peak season to £1,250 a week.

The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 12

ECONOMY NEWS

Eurozone factories stuck in longest slump since debt crisis

Eurozone factories have suffered a fourth straight month of contraction with industrial production slipping 0.3% year-on-year in February, dragged lower by a 2% decline in Germany’s ailing factories. The region’s manufacturers have blamed trade tensions, Brexit uncertainty, the car industry’s woes and China’s slowdown for the longest losing streak since 2013.

The Daily Telegraph Financial Times

Investors flee UK stock funds on Brexit worries

Investors have fled UK stock funds for a fourth consecutive week, withdrawing $304.5m and extending the total for the year past $1bn and to $24.8bn since the vote three years ago amid unease over Brexit.

Financial Times

Finance ministers say global growth will ‘firm up’

Following the Spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank, finance ministers and central bank governors said global growth was likely to “firm up” in coming months, leading to an improved outlook in 2020. However, new research suggests Britain is the only large advanced economy likely to see a decline in productivity growth this year, something Mark Carney puts down to Brexit uncertainty.

Financial Times Financial Times, Page: 2

OTHER NEWS

Accountant jailed after £170k weekend sex & drugs binge

Accountant Darren Carvill blew £170,000 on cocaine and prostitutes in a “weekend of madness” after stealing from bosses at a car servicing business. After realising he would be caught for stealing a total of £260,000 and almost bankrupting firm Mr Clutch, Carvill said he wanted to “go out with a bang”. Mr Carvill’s barrister James Ross said: “He has had a very unhappy life. For most of his life he has been bullied.” He was jailed two and a half years after admitting 18 fraud charges.

Daily Mirror, Page: 22 The Sun, Page: 5

 ‘Go skinny dipping before your next meeting’ accountants urged

National Geographic adventurer Alastair Humphrey told accountants to have “micro-adventures” such as skinny dipping in a river while on their way to a meeting or sleeping outside on a hill in summer as a way of bringing more happiness and fulfilment to work. Addressing the ICAEW West of England branch dinner, Mr Humphrey said: “You may work nine-to-five but that leaves you with five-to-nine to do something out of the ordinary.”

Swindon Business News

Contact Paul Southward [Tax Consultant].

Paul Southward